PAOLO Pontejos is doubtful for Jose Rizal University’s playoff game against Mapua on Friday after the death of his father Joey on Saturday.
Pontejos said he will show up for Friday’s game at the Mall of Asia Arena but the decision will still rest on Bombers head coach Vergel Meneses.
The father of Pontejos died of a heart attack on Saturday, a day after the Heavy Bombers’ final elimination round game against San Sebastian. He was 47.
Pontejos said he only attended the Heavy Bombers’ practice on Wednesday and didn’t attend on Thursday, the day his father was buried.
“Pupunta po ako pero nakay-coach pa rin,” Pontejos told Spin.ph on Thursday. “Nag-usap kami ni coach na pakiramdaman ko sarili ko kasi since the game against Baste, kinabukasan namatay ‘yung Dad ko.”
Pontejos has been instrumental in JRU’s impressive late run to the Final Four that saw the Bombers win their last six games to end the elimination with a 12-6 slate.
Pontejos is still in shock over the death of his father, who has been very supportive of his carrer and watched most of his games, including the one on Friday against the Stags.
“Siyempre malaking bagay siya. Siya nagturo sa akin mag-basketball. Siya nag-inspire sa akin na mangarap pa ng malaki. Ngayon, nung nawala siya, medyo mahirap. Pero nandyan naman ‘yung family ko para suportahan ako,” said Pontejos.
Pontejos said he wants to play on Friday since he believes his father will also want him to suit up in the game.
“Kapag tumigil naman ako maglaro, siguro mas magagalit siya. ‘Yung pagkawala niya, gagawin ko sigurong inspiration,” said Pontejos.
The Heavy Bombers and the Cardinals will fight for the No. 3 spot and the right to play Letran in the Final Four. The loser plays top-seed San Beda. The top two teams own a twice-to-beat edge.